In one of the green places which existed on the land, there lived an evil duck. This duck stole from its neighbors, bit its enemies, and had a very foul mouth. One day, a fairy who heard the complaints came to meet the cruel duck. The duck did not hear the fairy approaching, because he was a sour and unspirited duck. He swore when the fairy startled him as he was stealing from a neighbor's home. 

"Is it right what they say about you?" asked the fairy. 

"No doubt," said the evil duck. 

"Why are you so gruff?" 

"Because I am only a duck. Why couldn't I be a fairy like you?" 

"Is that all?" The duck was hopeful. Maybe she would give him what he really deserved. 

"I think I will make your tongue forked like a tree!" decided the fairy. 

"But..." started the duck, but it was too late, and he could no longer talk. Now he was even more of a sour old duck, and still stole from his neighbors, and now went around hitting them whenever he could, since he could no longer swear at them. 

"Don't you know you've brought this upon yourself?" asked a neighbor, but the evil duck paid no heed. The creatures called for the fairy's return, and she came back to see how the duck was doing. 

"I see you're still the same old sour duck." She allowed him to talk. 

"You've made me look like a fool!" spluttered the duck, "I should have a place of honor." 

"You only get what you ask for," responded the fair and just fairy. She turned him into stone, where creatures worshipped him as a tribute to the fairy's power, and in order to be in her good favor. They all wished to avoid such a fate for themselves. And the evil duck stood before them forever as a reminder to be careful what you wish for.

Journey back to the beginning Seek out a list of names at the Table of Contents Read more deeply into the next story.